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by Scott R. Gourley

During the October 2003 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., BATTLESPACE sat down with Lt. Gen. (Retired) John (Jack) Costello, Vice President, Army Transformation, Raytheon Network Centric Systems. Costello, who is leading Raytheon’s new company-wide “Enterprise Campaign” focusing on Net Centricity, shared some of his thoughts and observations on a Net Centric Battlespace.

“I head up what we call ‘Army Transformation,’” Costello explained. “But it’s really not Army only. Because what you find out very quickly when you talk about transformation is that no one service can transform by itself. And it’s the same thing with ‘Network Centric Operations.’ One service doesn’t do Net Centric Operations by itself.”

“What we did at Raytheon was to start with Network Centric Warfare. I sort of view that as the dots and the dashes and the digits necessary to bring information together. Then you go up one step and you arrive at Net Centric Warfare. And that’s where you get the cognitive process, the decision making, and the knowledge,” he said.

Acknowledging that different companies are using different terminologies for the Network Centricity stairway, Costello added, “Now, if you take it up another step, you have what we at Raytheon call Net Centric Operations. Not only does the Department of Defense do Net Centric Warfare, of which Network Centric Warfare is a subset, but Net Centric Operations includes things like the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] looking at the Net Centricity of air traffic management; homeland security aspects of Net Centricity. So we’re using the overall rubric, if you will, of Net Centric Operations.”

Costello referenced several recent statements from senior DoD and Army service representatives regarding Future Combat Systems (FCS). Their outlining of that pivotal capability has involved descriptions like “It’s the network and not the platform” and “It’s the information flow and the synergy that an approach to the problem provides you rather than the individual ground, air, or sea platform.”

From an industry perspective, Costello said that Raytheon was taking this concept and applying it to “age-old problems” of systems integration and systems architecture.

“So rather than looking at the platform as the end state it is the information and the synergies that you can get from tying different aspects of the battlefield together – and then applying effects,” he said.

“When you use the term Net Centric Operations then you end up talking about ‘Effects Based Operations,’” he explained. “What is the effect that you want to produce on the battlefield? Really, if you’re a soldier on the ground, you don’t care where the firepower comes from. You don’t care where it is. You don’t care who launches it. All you care is that you get the desired effects at the time and the place of your choosing. And it’s based on situational awareness; a common relevant operating picture; etcetera”

“So that’s what we’re trying to do. Raytheon has got it’s foot in a lot of doors –because we don’t build ‘platforms’ – but we do deal with everything from soldier issues on the ground to sensors on space-based platforms. So how do you tie all that together? And that’s what we’re challenging our engineers to do and that’s what my organization was established to do,” he said.

“In fact, when you talk about Net Centric Operations you immediately get forced out of talking about Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps solutions. It drives you to ‘Joint.’ You can not have a Net Centric solution for a single service,” he added.

“So I’m running what Raytheon calls an ‘Enterprise Campaign,’ which is a company-wide effort that allows me to tap in to the experts across the entire company to approach problems and requirements of our entire customer set from a Net Centric standpoint. So not on

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